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Who is BlackRock, main shareholder in Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone



Who is BlackRock, main shareholder in Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone


Today the news has emerged that we can read in the economic newspapers that BlackRock has become the first shareholder of Telefónica, thus surpassing BBVA, a position it has in many other operators. Thus we are presented with the question, for those who are less involved in the stock market world of what is BlackRock, what interests does it have and who is behind it? Let’s try to explain it.

The main operator in Spain, at least for its business, and in much of the world it has a new first shareholder, the firm BlackRock. Thus, it ranks ahead of BBVA, which has traditionally been the one that held this position with 6.07% of the capital, ahead of La Caixa and Société Générale. Specific, BlackRock has a 6.7% stake, what are some 3,000 million euros in its valuation in the market. This American firm began a strong purchase campaign since last September, when it had 3.76%, expanding its participation in different subsidiaries of the Spanish operator such as Germany or Brazil, so this also makes it the first shareholder at the institutional level in the entire Telefónica Group.

What is BlackRock?

BlackRock is one of the most influential financial groups on Wall Street and Washington, based in the Big Apple, founded in 1988, and has a portfolio of around 8 billion trillion dollars in investments worldwide.

They founded it Larry Fink, CEO, and Robert S. Kapito, President, and at first it was a brand of another investment firm, Blackstone. In 1992 they became independent and have opened offices in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt am Main, Milan and Dubai, San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, Mumbai, Zurich, Madrid, Moscow, Mexico, DF and São Paulo.

BlackRock is the first shareholder in Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange (among other operators)

BlackRock It’s one of the reference investors in almost all the main global operators. Just yesterday, he also communicated that he was reinforcing his position as first shareholder on Vodafone, where it has 7.30% of the capital at the institutional level. On Orange, is also the first «private» institutional shareholder, since it is behind the French State with 1.96% of the shares.

Also in British Telecom (BT), is the first independent shareholder, since Deutsche Telekom has the majority, with 7.88% of the capital and if we make the leap to the other side of the Atlantic, it is third shareholder in Verizon and second in AT&T. And although it is not a “global” operator, we cannot forget that BlackRock also has interests in another Spanish one, Euskaltel, where it has the 3.59% of the shareholders.

In what other companies does BlackRock have interests?

Perhaps this is the most interesting point because, obviously, the mix of companies with which it has in the portfolio can make us see how in the end, none of them is independent and they all end up being related.

Focusing on Spain, BlackRock has invested 9,000 million in Spanish banks and 12,000 million in the Ibex 35. Do you remember that we said that BBVA is the second shareholder of Telefónica? As well, BlackRock is, in turn, the first shareholder of the Basque bank, with 4.9% of the shareholders. In addition, it is also the first shareholder of the other large bank Spanish, the Santander, with 5%, the third of Banco Sabadell and Bankinter and has close to 3% of Banco Popular, in addition to 1% of the capital of CaixaBank and Bankia.

In addition to banking, it has holdings in multinational companies such as Repsol (3.25%), ACS (3.2%), OHL, Gamesa (9%), IAG (6.2%), or Técnicas Reunidas (3.055%).

In January 2016 – as we await your report this year – BlackRock had stakes in 19 companies of the select club of the 35 that make up the IBEX 35. This leads you to control 2.3% of the total capitalization of the index of the most valuable companies, at least on the stock market, in our country.

The darkest side of BlackRock, the “vulture fund” Fidere

And it is that this company finally has one of the most sinister faces related to the real estate collapse of our country through its Socimi Fidere. Since 2013 it has made a significant purchase of homes that were in the possession of the banks, around 1,800 had in its portfolio in 2016 in which there were also protected homes. It is perhaps when his name has come to light more times in the media, calling them a “vulture fund” as criticism rained down on the company for the low acquisition price or the increase in rental prices and eviction orders.